Office market now ‘on track’ to out-perform long-term trend

3 Arena Central, viewed from Bank Court

The largest pre-let in a decade in the Birmingham office market has provided a boost to the city centre property market after it had endured a sluggish year.

The expected announcement from the Government that it will move up to 3,600 staff into a central hub at 3 Arena Central added nearly 240,000 sq ft to the take-up figures in the third quarter of the year.

In total 402,076 sq ft of space was taken in the three months to September, making it the third-best quarter since 2008 and giving agents confidence the full-year figures will at least mach the long-term average.

However even without that huge deal it would have been the best performance for five quarters, according to data from the Birmingham Office Market Forum.

Hogan Lovells’ expansion in the Colmore Building, where it has taken 23,388 sq ft, was the largest deal in 15 months until the Government confirmed the HMRC consolidation.

Savills has also agreed to take 16,960 sq ft of space at 55 Colmore Row, joining Pinsent Masons in the recently-opened scheme, in a deal that showed the appetite of occupiers at the top end of the market.

The Birmingham Office Market Forum said: “The Q3 take up figures provide the strongest quarter recorded since the HSBC deal was secured in Q2, 2015.

“This positive start to the second half of the year ensures that in 2017, the central Birmingham office market is on track to deliver or even exceed its long term average.

“Clearly assisted by the largest prelet in a decade with the UK Government committing to 3 Arena Central, it is also reassuring to see some key professional service sector transactions and also further significant take up in the most recently delivered office schemes.”